Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Irwin Martin, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Stephen Sonstein, Ph.D.


A good, understandable informed consent form (ICF) is key to ethical medical research, and the ICF is necessary according to United States federal regulation. Since they may be written in complex technical language, ICFs are often difficult for subjects to understand. The purpose of this research was to evaluate students' understanding of terminology commonly used in the ICF. An online research survey was sent to active students of Eastern Michigan University (EMU) during the winter 2015 semester. Questions were asked to evaluate the students' understanding of the correct meaning of the terms used in medical research. The majority of students understood common terminology used in informed consents, but they were confused about the meaning of the term "Clinical Research/Trial" and the location where the clinical studies were conducted. Therefore, investigators and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) need to be aware of these potentially confusing items when writing an ICF.